Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Ello all. n00b alert!

catfleacatflea Posts: 21
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
Allo all.

Thought I would come along and join up as I'm just gearing myself up to start commuting by bike (well, as far as the station anyway) and I've had this place reccomended.

Now the summer (haha) is coming I figure its time to dust down the push bike (2004 trek 1200) and get some use from it and save myself some petrol pennies!

I'm intending that I will be riding to the station most days (approx 5 miles each way, with some pretty nasty hills on the way to) Now, I've never used a bike quite this heavily for commuting before (I've done it for about 1/2 mile each way before)

I've had a quick look at the newbie sticky and its raised a few points which I will be attending to. Any other hints/tips suggestions for (cheap but decent) kit to be on the look out for? :D

Posts

  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    If you live near a Lidl, go to it immediately! They have some very cheap and not-utterly-awful kit in for a limited time...

    Also, www.cyclestore.co.uk is good for cheap'n'cheerful kit.

    Good luck, and welcome! :D
  • Welcome, welcome.

    +1 for Lidl kit, a great way to start out on a budget. Even better, the Aldi kit will probably be out in a week or two, which is often even better quality for not much money.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,122
    Aldi will be doing their bike stuff in the next couple of weeks - its better than Lidl usually, gloves, socks, shirts and jackets all decent.
  • catfleacatflea Posts: 21
    Whoa! Fast responses!

    Cheers guys 8)
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    On the LIDL front, make sure you get small or medium unless you are enormous. I am 6'3" and 80kg so I'm tall but not massive however the L sized stuff absolutely swamped me. Even the length was over long and I've got a long torso. Width-wise, you could have fitted 2 of me in the jersey and gilet I bought. I went back and swapped the jersey for an M and the gilet for a ladies S size (they don't do men's S). They both fit much better. The gilet is a teency bit short at the front but as you lean forwards when cycling, it's the back length that counts. Happy with the new stuff. I think LIDL design their stuff for massively tall overweight Germans rather than the average skinny cyclist...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • zrazzlezrazzle Posts: 79
    was planning on heading to Lidl tomorrow (payday! wow spend it all on cycling gear?! :0) but maybe i'll wait for Aldi...just need to find an Aldi in SE London now...
  • lnrlnr Posts: 4
    Are you planning to take the bike on the train or lock it at the station?

    You'll want to check

    - can it go on the train you want to use
    - do they have parking
    - are there spaces at the right time of day
    - is it well lit and in plain sight
    - are there lots of abandoned trashed bikes there

    I've had a bike nicked at a station because I chained it to a fence, because the bike parking was too full to face looking for a space: came back to find someone had kicked the fence down. Moral: a wooden fence is not always a solid object!

    Good luck!
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    If you don't have one already, buy a track pump and keep your tyre pressure topped off regularly. Having the correct pressure make a world of difference.

    Also think about going clipless, again I'm assuming you aren't ATM.

    Finally make sure you carry spare tubes, pump etc. Getting a p*ncture 2 miles into a 5 mile commute when you have no spares will not be very amusing.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    zrazzle wrote:
    was planning on heading to Lidl tomorrow (payday! wow spend it all on cycling gear?! :0) but maybe i'll wait for Aldi...just need to find an Aldi in SE London now...

    There's an Aldi on Old Kent Rd, almost where it hits New Cross and another one in Catford on Rushey Green.... The LIDL on Old Kent Rd up near Bricklayers Arms still had stuff left yesterday, in fact they seemed to have restocked a bit since the day before...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • zrazzlezrazzle Posts: 79
    cool...might just be lazy and head to the lidl in crapham junction during lunch tomorrow...
  • catfleacatflea Posts: 21
    Thanks for all the hints and tips guys. Very much appreciated.

    LNR

    Its not worth taking the bike on the train as its only a 10 minute walk to the office the other end. The station in question has oodles of bike parking (on the platform and outside the station itself) including full on bike lockers - apparently though they are hired out on an annual basis and for the waiting list runs to 10 years :shock: :shock:

    I've no more concerns leaving my bike there than I would do leaving the car in the carpark - its not a paticuarly "rough" area and there are often nice looking bikes on the stands (sometimes with scarily pathetic looking locks!) The whole platform is well lit and covered by CCTV so no real worries there. 8)

    BTW, I live nowhere near a lidl or an aldi. In fact I live nowhere near anything really :shock:
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    catflea wrote:
    Thanks for all the hints and tips guys. Very much appreciated.

    LNR

    Its not worth taking the bike on the train as its only a 10 minute walk to the office the other end. The station in question has oodles of bike parking (on the platform and outside the station itself) including full on bike lockers - apparently though they are hired out on an annual basis and for the waiting list runs to 10 years :shock: :shock:

    I've no more concerns leaving my bike there than I would do leaving the car in the carpark - its not a paticuarly "rough" area and there are often nice looking bikes on the stands (sometimes with scarily pathetic looking locks!) The whole platform is well lit and covered by CCTV so no real worries there. 8)

    BTW, I live nowhere near a lidl or an aldi. In fact I live nowhere near anything really :shock:

    Is that southampton central station? IMO it can be prudent to use 2 locks and secure both wheels in places like that. Especially where the bike can be left for quite some time.

    Welcome to the forum too! :)
  • catfleacatflea Posts: 21
    Nope, not Southampton Central. I'd be dreadfully worried if I left the bike there.

    I go from Fareham station normally, occaisionally Havant if theres a deal on the trains 8)
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    catflea wrote:
    Nope, not Southampton Central. I'd be dreadfully worried if I left the bike there.

    I go from Fareham station normally, occaisionally Havant if theres a deal on the trains 8)

    Ahh thats fair enough. I often go to the guitar shop just past the southampton one and have seen one or two bashed up bikes near there.
  • catfleacatflea Posts: 21
    Well, I decided to do a trial run yesterday (to see how much time I needed to allow etc) and it was rather informative. I think I need a slightly less "harsh" bike than the roadie. The road was pretty much a boneshaker (really rough surfacing) and with stupidly high pressure in the tyres it was rather uncomfy.

    And the other event was someone in a laguna screaming up behind me and honking the horn just before passing whilst laughing his head off - gave me a slight wobble, must learn to control that.....
  • There's a couple of things you can do to lessen the road judder on a road bike. Firstly, wear padded shorts, if you're not already. Secondly, carbon seatposts can really help too. I always thought it was just extra bling for bike tarts, but no, there is actually a real difference.
  • John StevensonJohn Stevenson Posts: 1,131
    Ask a bike shop to fit the fattest tyres your Trek 1200 will take. It probably came with 25mm, but there might be room in the frame for 28mm or even 32mm rubber. You can run fatter tyres a bit softer.
    John Stevenson
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Check the pressure as well, try running at around 100 as oppose to 120. I'm afraid that Alu frames can be a bit harsh. Padded gloves as well as shorts will help a little as will carbon forks and post.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Also, if none of the above work, you can re-do your bar tape and make it extra-super-thick around where you tend to rest your hands.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Agree with the carbon seatpost! Carbon forks too. On roadie tyres I run at 100psi around southampton on a 23 tyre. The tyres I use will take 140psi but I seem to go faster and more comfortably with just 100.

    Have run 35s on the wheels before at 85psi. You can get Racelite hardcases in 32s iirc. That was about the same comfort wise if I'm honest.

    I use gel filled gloves too as my wrists tend to hurt if I dont. (Altura Reflex or Bontrager mitts). I dont bother with padded legwear myself. My saddles pretty comfy. Good saddles to consider are the Miles Velo and the one reviewed in C+ last month (forget the name, but its splt in two with gel)... not cheap though
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